There is one constant of human experience, and that is never having all of what you want. The practice of learning to be happy while not yet having all you want is the key to living a life filled with joy. If you can nail this, for the rest of your life people will be asking you, How do you maintain that glow? Desire and even yearning is a beautiful thing.
A very important part of this practice is not only to be able to name your desire, but to distinguish the difference between knowing and owning your desire and actually acting on it.
Learning how to speak your desires is an incredible life skill to master. And learning to speak your desires does not always mean getting them fulfilled. In fact, we may have many desires that we don’t really want to have granted, and learning to speak our desires and not having them fulfilled is all a part of this practice. One of the many practices I learned recently from Deepak Chopra and David Ji at The Chopra Center was to ask the three soul questions as a part of my morning meditation. The questions were simple and we spoke them to ourselves (what a great practice!). They were: “Who am I?”, “What do I want?” and “What is my life’s purpose?” Consider asking yourself these questions before you meditate in the morning. It is a great way to practice talking with yourself and the universe about your desires and getting in touch with me.
Another great way to practice getting in touch with your desires is to learn how to state them. Such as “I really want to feel my husband throw me on the bed and make love to me the next time he walks past me folding the laundry.” Now how do we communicate that to ourselves, and our partners as a statement of desire? It could go like this “Honey – I really want to feel desired by you. Sometimes I think about what it could be like to feel you want me so badly that you would interrupt anything I am doing so that you can make love to me.” Now…that is NOT a request – it is a statement of desire.
A request would sound like “Darling, when you see me doing a household task will you please grab me, throw me over your shoulder?” Or “Honey, I would like you to throw me onto the bed and make love to me.” That is a request.
The difference is that in stating one’s desire, the “other” does not have to do anything about your desire. You are simply sharing intimacy, connection and offering your partner good information. But it is your desire. You own it and the person that you are sharing it with does not have to do anything with it. There is no rejection in it for you, as you are not left hanging waiting for action.
With a request, you are expecting a response. It requires action on behalf of the other. To me, this is tricky business. It is full of subtlety. Can expressing my desire be a coy way of hiding or stating a request? Am I my own trickster? Can I think that I am simply expressing desire when I am instead hiding my requests? You have to be really clear about your own intentions
I think that mastering this skill of speaking desires, and separating that from speaking requests, especially around sexuality is really important. When we are able to speak our desire around our sexuality, it is the beginning of removing shame.
Now…what if the listener does not know the differences between a request and an expression of desire….then what? What if the listener does not welcome expressions of desire? One might say that this does not matter. That the expression of the desire is not about the listener. It is suppose to be about the person expressing!
The expression of desire is powerful and important to us as individuals – and I encourage you to practice it. Consider having a conversation with your partner about the importance of learning how to express desires – and the difference between desires and requests. Remember, when you express desire there is no expectation of action on the part of the listener. And in that boundary, there is incredible freedom in both the expression of the desire and the listening to it.
I acknowledge that these expressions make me feel vulnerable. So don’t be surprised if this practice can do the same for you. There aren’t many rules, but if you feel anxious about this practice….you are not alone. It’s just so worth it. Once you start the ball rolling, letting your desire flow will create more possibility in your life and greater intimacy with your partner.
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